The Millennial Buyer is here, and although they may not be knocking on the doors here in Whistler just yet, they are expected to make up over 50 percent of buyers from 2018 onwards, overtaking gen xer’s as the largest buyer segment. Millennial Buyers, who were born between 1981 and 1997, are now in their ripe years for buying property with the median age of the millennial homebuyer 29 years old. This group of buyers is vastly different than its predecessors and there are several economic, social and environmental factors that has shaped the way these young adults buy. So what does a Millennial Buyer look like, and will we see an increase of them here in Whistler?
They are information hungry
Millennial Buyers grew up in the age of information prevalence. They came of age at a time when internet dominated how people search for and process information. Because of this, Millennial Buyers spend a lot of time researching information before they make a home purchase. This research involves finding out as much as possible about a local community, learning about the real estate market, and knowing what their options are with regards to real estate agents.
They are cautious about debt
Millennials are more cautious about debt than the generations before them. They came into adulthood during the GFC, and have faced unfavourable job markets and housing markets which has limited their opportunities. This has resulted in the Millennial Buyer living with their parents, and renting longer than any generation before them. This has also resulted in big life events such as getting married and having babies put on hold. Although Millennials are cautious about debt, a 2015 Survey by TD Bank indicated that 50 percent of Millennials are ‘extremely’ or ‘very likely’ to buy a house in the next year.
They value experiences over things
Shiny pennies do little to attract the interest of Millennials. Instead, Millennials tend to favour experiences more than fancy cars, big homes and sparkly jewelry. For this reason, buying a home until now hasn’t been a priority for Millennials. Travelling, getting an education, and spending time with friends and family has seen Millennials postpone home ownership. Until now.
They are highly mobile
Millennials are world-travellers, they value freedom and independence, and are unlikely to stay in one spot as long as generations before them. Millennials do not shop for their ‘forever’ home and are likely to stay in one house for an average of ten years, compared to the Baby Boomer generation who stayed for 18 years on average in one place.
They are environmentally and socially conscious
Due to globalization happening in their formative years, Millennials have a stronger social and environmental conscious than previous generations. They grew up in a time of racial, gender and sexual orientation equality. They have a deep sense of responsibility to take care of the environment and overall hold an optimistic view of the future.
They are tech savvy
Millennials are the most tech savvy generation with the internet, smart-phones and computers dominating the way they communicate, learn and do business. Millennials are savvy researchers online and are experts at comparison shopping. They are addicted to social media, and place a high level of importance on businesses and organizations that have a strong reputation online.
So has the Millennial Buyer landed in Whistler? Our average sale price is well above the Canadian average, meaning these buyers who are not as financially mobile as the older generations are less likely to buy in Whistler than they are in Pemberton or Squamish, or more affordable parts of BC. That being said, as this generation matures, they are likely to become a more dominant force in the local real estate market, and with incentives such as the BC Government’s HOME Equity Program giving first-time buyers money towards their down-payment, Whistler is becoming more accessible to this population.
For more information on Whistler real estate, and to stay up-to-date with the latest real estate market news, contact Dave Burch today.